Monday, December 7, 2020

EYE Loved His Glass


When I was a freshman in college I met one of my best friends. He was too funny. We'd have sooooooo much fun doing silly simple stuff, like going to the movies all day. We'd take a break go grab a bite to eat and then go back. We'd rent videos from RAO and binge watch them. We’d go riding and see how many numbers he could get from women.  We would take his uncle with us to the store just so we could watch his eyes light up when he'd see pretty women. We'd play cards, and dominoes. We'd barbecue, try to go fishing, etc. We had so much fun. 

When I met him he was sickly but that never stopped him from doing anything. He had his good days and his not so good days. He never really let me know the severity of his illness until he started to push me away after being home bound for a week. He wouldn't answer my phone calls and didn't call me. So I decided I am not going to lose my best friend like that. I went to his house and after he cursed me out for a good five minutes (but seemed like hours, he was a good cuss-er) he let me in. Once in the house I could see in person why he'd been so distant. He was in some serious pain and this pain was doing him badly. He explained to me exactly what was going with him and how in the past he'd just push people away because he didn't want people to see him like that. Oh we cried that day.

His illness began to take a real toll on his body causing him to have to quit work. We could no longer ride out like we used too. So we changed how we hung out. When he could handle a car ride we rode and when he couldn't we didn't. Eventually his illness caused him to be completely confined to home and most times in his bed. Before he gotten this sick he tried to be a good best friend slash uncle to my son by trying new stuff. He attempted to baby-sit. He attempted to cut my grass in 100+ degree weather.  He attempted to barbecue. He was not good at many of those attempts but I loved the fact that he tried.

My best friend lost his battle with his illness. Although I miss him so very much knowing that he didn't have to suffer no more was ease enough to accept him being gone. Here is what I had to learn and make adjustments to having a terminally ill best friend. Every time he got sick it wasn't like with me where I could just either wait it out or go to the doctor for some meds to get better. For him every moment he got down sick it was a chance that he may not recover or that his standard of living may change. While I knew death is inevitable for everyone, he lived with the fact that his days to death ratio were closer than most. He pushed people away not to be selfish but because he didn't think he deserved to be loved due to his illness.

He never saw the glass half empty. He always saw the glass half full. He taught me a meaning (l have learned others ) of carpe diemSeize the Day” or better for him “Seize the Moment”. As I have been blessed to reach what many would say mid-life I say holla at me when I am fifty then we can add mid-life. I am humbly blessed to have lived past forty and I am sneaking up to that fifty gracefully. The tapestry of my life-long friends keeps changing as well as my socio-geographical pinpoints of those I knew when. It seems that every month now I am either learning of a home going service of a loved one, peer, family member, or friend. Also I am watching the many behind the scenes stories being unveiled of those who have been suffering in silence for long periods of time.

We own our stories and that knowledge should prompt us to want to share them but for so many we don’t we hold on to them.  We often leave our left behind ones with the solemn responsibility to grapple with how to share our stories or our memories. If you have/or are battling an illness terminal or chronic let people in and trust that you can share of yourself on your terms. 

If you are chosen to be a part of the last moments of someone’s life make them lasting moments. Consider how you would want to be treated if you knew that your days to death ratio is drawing nigh. Even if you’re not suffering in these manners and consider your life to be better than the next do know that your days are numbered as well. We have to learn to treat people daily how we want to be treated not just when the chips are down. Show some empathy for the consistent changing mind set and mental framework of someone who is suffering a chronic or terminal illness.  True enough no one wants to be treated in a manner they are displeased with no matter how the person that is treating them that way is fairing in life. All I am asking is that we move beyond tolerance and shift into a space of understanding others plights albeit same or different than yours.

So today let’s move to a unified communal space of embracing the fullness of life.


Peace and Bountiful Blessings,

The Queen Has Spoken


Salute Best Friend EYE Miss You!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Ode to Self: Owed to SELF - Written 9.18.18 at 10:03am

Here's the truth I have been struggling to find a pace that merges my passion with my space as well as monetize it. I know I have all it takes to WIN but it seems like I am constantly winding up at a fork in the road and seemingly choosing the direction of MORE directions AHEAD! I recently looked at my blog posts and realized that I hadn't posted in over a year but had a few unpublished posts from within that time frame. Ever get so busy being BUSY? All while complaining about being too busy to do the things you really want to do for yourself? Well that's me if I am honest. If I am still using my lie as the truth then EVERYBODY ELSE is more important and EYE (I) can wait till THEY have what they NEED! I really thought I had graduated from this way of processing ... from this way of operating but I hadn't. Every day I find another VALIANT reason to put me on the back burner. AND! I am doing this while parts of each BRILLIANT idea slowly dies inside of me! At this point I don't know how to BREAK this cycle but I am determined to WIN at ME! I have been winning at OTHERS and for OTHERS all my life! Yes I concur I am a servant leader and this is not a woest me tirade but merely an ODE TO SELF to remind me EYE MATTER! I owe myself the chance to exhale without breathing in the laments of others. I owe myself the chance to see if the next bricks in a wall I build are upon the strong foundation where I have already done the groundwork. I owe myself the chance to LIVE out LOUD and on PURPOSE! Even with the knowledge of knowing that I am all many around have I still owe myself the chance to see what I can do next outside doing so much FOR OTHERS and attaching it to my RIGHT to SERVE in EXCELLENCE as I suffer and die in SILENCE! I owe myself the sight of seeing my books published and not still as files on my drives stored up for safe keeping until the right TIME! 

Today is November 17, 2020 and I found this in one of journals not knowing it was also sitting in a draft box unpublished on my site. Today I am in search of finding the SELF that is ME who will know WHO am EYE and who I am trying to BECOME! Being closer to a HALF century doesn't MAKE this process any easier just more INTENSE! My head hurts constantly from headaches I have no idea the root of but no amount of pain will keep me from FINDING ME. FROM activating MY VOICE and reconciling with my PASSION to share my GIFT of WORDS with this cruel WORLD! 

It was become COMMON PLACE to FORGET all about ME but it has become my TRUE PLIGHT to kill the DESIRE to FORGET ME!! I will land on the other side with best seller's and publishing deals but until then #EYEwriteNOW! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Coach Charles Ripley: The Pied Piper of Second Chances

Coach Rip

When someone leaves this physical life we are left with the juxtaposing of enshrining their legacy against our lived experiences with them. It is a dichotomy everyone will deal with in death. The things you least liked about someone in life are the things you least think about them in death. The toiling tug-o-war and malady of memories cause you to really reexamine the totality of their presence in your life.

As a child I can remember numerous faith leaders exploring the bounds of living processes and how the bounty of those experiences could be qualitative or quantitative. Once a faith leader said this “If you are praying for patience do you think you are just given patience? Or do you think you are given tests where you develop patience?” Clearly as an adult you know that patience is gifted through battery of tests proctored by numerous of persons passing through your life.

As we meander to and fro through our lives we strive to accomplish goals and dreams. We see others doing what we want and we begin to emulate them. Some of these only became what we desired to become because of exposure. As a child who sees their local hero shooting that winning shoot; scoring that winning touchdown; killing that last serve; etc.,  you become absorbed with the idea of this what I want to do. We even see our favorite professional superstars on TV or in person adding more enthusiasm to our desires to become our version or better of them.

The process of becoming is twofold. You have to do the research of what makes this superstar (in our minds) become who they are. Then you have to develop a plan to obtain our goal of becoming just like or better than them. We put our plan in motion. Getting up early to get that extra workout out in before your regular team practice would surely give you the edge you needed to get a better position on the team.  But what happens when your best isn’t good enough? What happens when you fall prey to your happenstances and the victory of becoming you so desperately seek is now aloft?

Enter Coach Rip! Coach Rip was that guy who would see a D1 player being a gym rat at the local community center and invite him to try out for him. Total transparency here … that player didn’t have to be a D1 player he could just be a young man with a zeal for competition, a good jump shot, quick up and down the court, and not attached to another team. Coach Rip was infamous for finding dynamic athletes. He would find those who had either failed other attempts at collegiate play, let life alter their sound decision making, never considered playing collegiate ball, or just needed a second chance in life to get it together and of course some just found him via his legacy or others were referred to him.

When you walked into a gym with Coach Rip there was an immediate expectation from you. As an athlete you did not want to let him down. I watched many athletes who struggled with their personal hang-ups fight to show Coach Rip his choosing was not in vain. Although some would succumb to those hang-ups many went on to accomplish the goal they set out. Coach Rip was tough on the court and courtside but funny off the court. He had the heart of a servant when came to putting young men from all walks of life in the best situation possible for them to compete for him. I witnessed him open his hands, his home, his wallet but especially hisheart to sow seeds into the lives of so many athletes.

If you were his assistant coach there was a love/hate relationship as to be expected as many mentor/mentee relationships are. The toggle of his genius and methods made fodder for a good reality show. As assistants we’d often toe the line but he was the obvious elder statesmen in the gym with an impeccable basketball coaching pedigree to prove why he was who he was. His Basketball IQ was unparalleled and if you worked with him long enough it would rub off on you. Once we were down by 5 points in a game with 1:50 left on the clock. Coach Rip called timeout; pulled us in a huddle and said this is a three ball possession game now. He gave the strategy for our athletes to execute and what we the assistants were supposed to focus on in those last moments of the game. His plan of execution worked and we won the game.

As an assistant men’s basketball coach who happened to be a woman working alongside Coach Rip was quite the experience. Under his tutelage not only did I get to improve and enhance my coaching skills but he allowed to me cut and sharpen my athletic administration teeth as well. Truthfully Coach Rip gave so many of us assistants or athletes the foundations we needed to GROW ON to be better in many other areas in our lives within ATHLETICS and outside of it. One of the funniest moments I will ever cherish about him off the court is his love of food. We were at a restaurant and he wanted a steak. Unfortunately the restaurant didn’t have steak. He said, “Dang that’s no good! Guess we’re not gonna eat tonight Coach …. and looked at me.” We all laughed. He had chicken that night. 

Coach Rip was incapable of convalescing quietly while the GAME WENT on! If you went to visit him in his latter days you’d see him sitting with his assistants or on the phone with them doing the only thing that gave him true joy and pleasure prepping for the next GAME! Basketball was Coach Rip’s DNA. He lived, breathed, and died for BASKETBALL. Cancer may have taken his life but not his LEGACY! Coach Rip had his own way of doing HIM and what he LOVED to do but all LEGENDS do! I can only imagine how the GAME is looking in HEAVEN right now. He’s probably trying to convince Kobe to start a summer league. Coach Charles Ripley we all carry your LEGACY on and on. You will forever be missed but forever be loved! Rest Easy Coach Rip you deserve it!

Dedicated to Coach Charles Ripley 

June 12, 1946 – June 28, 2020

Coach Rip and FCA@ABC 


Back Row: Coach Jackson, Coach Abdullah, Coach Cross, Coach Brown, Coach Williamson
Front: Coach Rip


Saturday, June 27, 2020

We The People vs You Them People

We are currently in a CATATONIC state of EXISTENCE in this cruel world. Daily we are enthralled in 100 of millions of reasons to slap ourselves in the middle of our foreheads in awe or in disbelief of what has gone viral or what has been revealed about something happening in the moment. Between the worldwide unifying love and support shown for the Black Lives Matter movement to the horrid realities of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic we are overwhelmed and our sensibilities fractured. 

You literally have to be living under a rock in the middle of complete technology desolation to be unaware of the happenstances infecting this WORLD!!! Every waking moment there is breaking news that seemingly requires our immediate attention or rapid response to spring into action. We are not only tethered to only our TV screens, but we are simultaneously tethered to all the other screens in our possession. Whether you get your source of information from the television, the computer, or your phone it is LIMITLESS!!! Even more than this we are not VOID of bloggers, vloggers, news syndicates, real news, fake news, live news, etc., all with competent and/or incompetent persons at the helm of each giving us hourly doses of such!  

Two of my favorite sources of infotainment  are the Breakfast Club  featuring DJ Envy (@djenvy), Angela Yee (@angelayee), and Charlamagne tha God (@cthagod) and the Rickey Smiley Morning Show featuring @Rickey Smiley@GaryWDTea@Headkrack@SoSoBrat@Special K@Rock-T@Eva Marcille, and @JahLion. Both shows specialize in giving you the hard hitting news, facts, and relevant information all riddled with humor, music, and entertainment.  @Cthagod  infamous Florida rants are always a source of levity. If you do a quick google search of the recent Floridian mask wearing protests it will yield over 46+ million results. Although his rants make you laugh these protests are far from a laughing matter.

I watched a video clip Now This News posted to Facebook regarding the Florida protests over wearing masks. I wondered to myself what I was watching and did the people vehemently protesting wearing masks take into consideration the HOLISTIC message they were sending to those watching. I wondered as each person took to the mic to get their "SAY SO" did they even consider who their words would really be INFECTING (yes... I  mean INFECTING)? Did they understand the residue that would be attached to them because of them? Or had they even read any of the other printed "PAPERS" of power and authority before they read from their fragmented speeches in their phones or scribbled out on tattered pieces of paper?

Here are my thoughts on the motion to detract or distract from the MOVEMENT of healing this world from RACISM, RACIST, and the RONA! In particular this penned prose is regarding the conglomerate of similar moves and the videos circling the VIRAL wagons doing more harm than help. In America no in these United States of America when there is a movement to right the wrongs of an oppressed and marginalized people there comes a COVERT mission to distract from the  momentum of that movement. 

The error in communication from this motion of protesting wearing masks is flawed and completely VISCERAL.

1) The TRUTH is there will always be some governmental INEFFICIENCY and OVER SITE  in mandating, regulating, and enacting laws, rules, policies and procedures on behalf of "WE THE PEOPLE". However your inalienable right to be "FREE" should not come at the hands of ignoring the potential of disbursing a lethal virus on yourself or others because  "YOU THEM PEOPLE" who feel infringed upon (for simply being asked to wear a mask).

2) The bible is the most quoted "BOOK of BOOKS" in the history of publishing books in this world. It is equally the most MISINTERPRETED and MISREPRESENTED set of BOOKS within the same history. Unleashing You Version 2.0 does nothing for those listening to your grievances whom are not sworn to take your account of the accounting into consideration for the work they are to do on behalf "YOU THEM PEOPLE"!

3) The mysteriousness which surrounds the Corona Viruses in particular the pandemic of COVID-19 is undisputed and nondiscriminatory. It has left no parts of this ENTIRE ROCK untouched. What are more heartbreaking is the stupefying  statistics in regards to the HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of deaths attributed to this mystery.  Identically in stupefying UNKNOWNS is the MILLIONS of people who contracted the COVID-19! Rationalizing is a reality lost to  STATISTICS because this mystery of COVID-19 has a battle cry riddled which is NUMBERS!!!

4) THERE IS NO SYMMETRY in your RIGHT to potentially DISBURSE this virus because you want to HOARD your BELIEFS that "YOU THEM PEOPLE" are the spokespersons for GOD, the BIBLE, and the INALIENABLE RIGHTS for "WE THE PEOPLE" who are complying out of caution for what is and still remains UNEXPLAINED the far reaches of this PANDEMIC!  Unilaterally most people do not want to wear a mask either but why take the chance! Granny said it like this an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Furthermore no one is saying all that has been revealed is true however in the page flipping and conspiracy sharing explain these NUMBERS we are witnessing SOARING RAPIDLY daily WORLDWIDE!

5) Lastly being in the NOW so you can be in the KNOWN is admirable for it is the MOMENTUM of all things PUBLICIZED under this country's current cultural ebb and flow. It is my solemn prayer that when the roost of your arousal arrives it is not met with the reality of so many during this pandemic having to watch the demise of or recovery of their loved ones from a "SOCIAL DISTANCE"!

The Queen Has Spoken


  ******All sources accessed on June 27, 2020 via their sites.******

Monday, June 22, 2020

Rest Easy Black Cat

They said my brother and I looked just like him. They called us his "twins"; although he has a twin. My dad was waaaaaaaaaaay FAR from a perfect man or a good father but he was my only point of reckoning or understanding for so much of my formative years. His childhood lessons mostly out of madness became part of my adulthood methodology.

My dad was brilliant and equally mad .... he was a mad scientist; an evil genius. A lot of the things he taught my siblings and I were waaaaaaay before their prominent time. Way before Vegan fads were trendy he was showing how to use vegetable products to eat to live. He always told us never live to eat but eat to live. He was a HUGE fan, belief, and avid user of marijuana. He would always say it had medicinal powers and healing agents. He believed in the power of connecting with the earth. He taught us so many VALUABLE LESSONS that have become INVALUABLE MANTRAS.

As a kid you don't know the whole history of your parents parenting skills or parenting lenses. All you know is you either LIKE THEM or DISLIKE THEM! My dad suffered with so much internally and his GREATNESS was lost on his MADNESS!

But despite all of his-STORY he was my DAD and I love him. In my youth I would watch this six foot five inch well chiseled frame of man walk in a room and the women just start swooning over him. His smile drew them in. His hair, his skin, and of course his smell was all part of his allure. With each step he took you could hear the drums of my ancestors playing. In any room or any space he entered he entered as Royalty! He never held his head down. He spoke with strength of many KINGS! My dad was NO soft MAN!

He knew how to party. There was always a REASON to pop fireworks. HIS favorite fireworks were them Blackcats. One time my dad was celebrating and he took my grandma Nannie Bell’s tin tub to turn over them to make the sound louder. He would take them carefully out of the plastic wrapping and string the packs together. Then take a sparkler (my favorite) and light them toppling the tub over them. Once they would start to pop it sounded like any war or shoot out scene from the TV or movies. AND As scared as I, my siblings, and my cousins were from the ELEVATED noise I thought he was so cool to be able to do that! My grandma Nannie Bell didn't and would chase him out her back yard with a frying pan for messing up her tub.

In my dad's latter days ... his chiseled frame could not handle the debilitating effects from his Multiple Sclerosis. He was bed ridden in a nursing home. You would think a giant of man whose walk and talk was a part of his alluring infamy would just wither up and die quietly once bed ridden. NOPE not my dad! Until his death HE WAS STILL IBN. He was STILL JOHN James' twin! He was still just as DEFIANT and BRILLANT!

His defiant brilliance would land him in a hospital bed many times over his latter days in this world. But his last stay at the hospital was not one of them. He was lying in the bed and giving the healthcare staff the blues. I walked in his room and asked everyone to leave out so we could have a very private but very necessary conversation. In our "little" talk we discussed the value of being kind even though he was dying before our eyes. We also discussed his desires for his legacy. My dad was tired; his choices, his illness, and the results of them both collectively had made his life unbearable to live any longer.

In his last breathes on this rock I saw my dad light up to flirt with the hospice staff and smile as he had last "parade" surrounded by a whole female staff and his daughters. His last parade was from one side of the hospice to the other because my dad's legs were to long for the regular hospice beds so the only oversized bed available was on the other side of the hospice. You would have thought he'd been a member of a championship team the way he was smiling. Once in the oversized bed it swallowed him. His frail frame was no match for that ginormous bed but his legs and feet weren't hanging off it like in the other bed.

Once his parade was over and he was now in his "ROOM" he smiled, refused to eat, or drink, and left this world on his own terms. Till his death he was AUTHENTICALLY him! My dad didn’t go lightly or quietly into the night. He left like he came being HIM and being HE who HE was AUTHENTICALLY!  Prepping to send him home in fashion equal to his life proved to be very hard. I drew upon the strengths from the childhood he had given me by going to sit with the elders of my youth Faith families. Although no child is ready to bury or eulogize their parents I was now prepared to do so. As I was standing behind the book board giving his eulogy I looked out over all in attendance and smiled through my tears knowing he was now in a better place.  

The title of his eulogy was “What Will They Think If I Just Lay Here?” My dad never just laid or sat anywhere. He was methodical, he was brilliant, he was mad, and he was HIM! I miss my dad. Today is his Heavenly birthday! I wished my children could have gotten to know my dad and many others of my family that are now resting in glory. However that’s not the hand they were dealt.  But as the chips have fell and seeds spread out I stand tall in the legacy of the good seeds my dad planted. He, his twin my Uncle James, my Uncle Cleveland, and my Uncle Larry all share the same the birthday and they are all in Heaven. We will see them again but until I walk in the legacy and heritage of them all. Rest in loving power daddy and my uncles!


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Hammy OUT!!!!

Good Morning. Life is extraordinarily difficult and awe-inspiring equally. The moment you begin to feel a sense of balance or success on your journey next exit is closed or someone or something comes along and side swipes you causing you to stop be still or to reexamine the moment or even the momentum.

You ask yourself how many more life humbling moments do I need before I throw the towel in and accept the thing you've been fighting and warring against ..... Complacency.
Or before you say nope this just life's last stitch effort to see how bad do I want what I say is in my heart.

So self are you chasing after your dreams and goals or are you chasing after money.
Which one has true motivation and which one will run-out of steam?

How can you then thereby ignore the tugs at your mental stability via the lack of minimum necessities to care for yourself without faltering to them froth with worry for the unknown or even the repetition of these moments?

Is the spirit of your God inside of you stronger than the soundtrack of doubt rearing from the same place?

Where is the victory? Is it in the transition of acknowledging the presence of the hamster wheel you can’t seem to get off or is it in the plight to overcome the presence of past residue preventing your exit or is it both or perhaps neither.

Nevertheless one step, one second ,one thought at a time minimizes or maximizes your movements for the quest begins with motion and no amount of radical emotions with halt its forward momentum without your permission. So the challenge is CHOICE … what are you choosing … too live or quit. Consequently either way the CHOICE is yours so choose wisely and choose WISELY often.

 ©The Queen Has Spoken March 11, 2020

Monday, February 24, 2020

GIANTS in my corner ..

This world is ever changing. You get up most mornings with at least some idea of what the day will hold. Then the earth shifts and now you have to adjust your moves. If someone says they have a handle of life they're lying. They have a handle on making the adjustments when the shifting happens.

As of late it has been scary to me noticing that the GIANTS in my corner are diminishing either by being exposed as frauds, death, or mere shadows of their presence in my life gone by.

I am a loyal person. Unfortunately to a fault. In my mind if I have been a good person to you and I have not shown you any hurt, harm, or danger then it should equal from your side. So I often I have had to regroup to discover that many only wanted the access to me or my resources and when they no longer needed either their narrative of our relationship changed.

Wait I am not lashing out ... just merely making an observation. I am saying I had to learn to value my value and expect the same from others. When I realized it was not mutual it made it easier for me to adjust my time and resources being used at any given time or place.

So what's the point ... Life is ever evolving and sometimes we miss the evolution because we've gotten comfortable with familiarity rather than prepared for change. No new friends is not a good policy to live by when no day is promised to any us. However meeting new people can be refreshing just take your time getting to know them and limit their back stage pass to your whole life until you trust strength in the threads of your friendship tapestry.

One day your PRESENCE will be a MERE shadow in the MEMORY of a LOVED ONE so while you are here love HARD and love OFTEN!

The Queen Has Spoken

Monday, January 27, 2020

Death Reminds Us ......

Death reminds us how VALUABLE time is. No matter how much or how little you have TIME is the one thing NO-ONE can purchase, put on layaway, return, or extend. During DEATH everyone wants to RUSH to be the HERO for those GRIEVING! While the end results of DEATH is the same not all DEATHS are received the same.

Kobe Bryant's DEATH reminds us of how our legacy becomes our SHADOW. Our words, our ways, our deeds, and our actions will SHADOW our DEATHS when our TIME is up!  Most do not wake up with the KNOWLEDGE that today is the TIME your LIFE will end.

Our ETA and ETD never overshadow the DASH in between those dates. My heart is hurting this morning for all those affected by this untimely tragedy. Trying to figure out how to just breathe is one of the most hardest tasks in tragedy attached to death. Your mind has tapped out for the REALITY of the NOW prevents you from any rational thought.

Please learn that if you have not experienced the PAIN that comes with DEATH unexpectedly (keep living) but know the last thing many want is being bombarded with Umpteen  Queries regarding the tragedy.

Moments like these make us revisit times we’ve suffered through tragedy. AND the humanity in us all makes us mourn the loss. The world will never KNOW what more the #BLACKMAMBA could’ve become. One FLIGHT did give us all reason to PAUSE and REMEMBER what he did BECOME while he was with US!

May the peace that surpasses all understanding behold his WIFE, his CHILDREN, his FAMILY and everyone connected to this moment.  My prayers are with the all the families whose lives changed and are forever conjoined by it.